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DIA Volunteer Lunch
DIA Volunteer Lunch

Volunteer Award Winner:
Steve Ray

DFT Usher - December 2007

Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is pleased to recognize Steve Ray as the Detroit Film Theatre’s 2007 Volunteer of the Year. He ushers the late shows on Saturdays and Sundays, times when help is especially appreciated.

Cindy Mies, chairperson of the Usher Committee, asked Ray to consider volunteering after recognizing that he had been a frequent patron. He continues to enjoy it because of the new interaction he has with other visitors.

“Volunteering allows you to get involved in activities that you might have participated in anyway as a patron, but at a much deeper level as a volunteer,” Ray said “Watching the films as a patron is wonderful and exciting, and you might meet a handful of people. But as a volunteer usher you get to share a smile with hundreds of people in a weekend along with making friends and establishing relationships with fellow volunteers and DIA staff members. You wouldn’t get those opportunities by simply watching the films.”

Ray has a whole new reason to consider the Detroit Film Theatre his favorite part of the museum since the completion of its wonderful renovation work. He notes that there’s not a bad seat in the house.

And, in all of his time viewing films in the theater he has had a hard time picking a favorite film. He considers a great film as one that brings out something from inside of you. But, whether a film makes him feel happy, sad, or angry one thing is consistent – there isn’t anywhere else he’d rather be at that moment.

Ray is a Detroit native who lives in Dearborn Heights, about a mile from where he grew up. He is a graduate of University of Michigan–Dearborn and Henry Ford Community College. He shares his home with two cats, Kiko and CeeCee, and is in the home stretch of a remodeling project. Ray is a car enthusiast and feels fortunate to work for Ford Motor Company. He also sings in the Car Tune Characters barbershop quartet about antique cars including the Model T and Model A.

Ray’s volunteer commitments are numerous. He is chairman of the Dearborn Heights Watershed Stewards Commission. He supports the Detroit Festival of the Arts, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and Fourth Friday with Ford concerts at Campus Martius. Through the Community Service Volunteer program at Ford, he helps coordinate volunteers for the annual Rouge River Water Festivals well as monthly visits to Vista Maria, a resident facility for abused and neglected girls. The DIA is fortunate that Ray gives his time to the Detroit Film Theatre and congratulates him on his many accomplishments.

On a final note, Ray adds: “I really enjoy being an usher and meeting and greeting new people at every film,” he said. “I have enjoyed many a film and it is my wish through volunteering that others will enjoy their experience at the museum and the theater. And when you’re there don’t forget to try the Coconut Chocolate Chip cookies offered in the theater’s Crystal Gallery. They’re delicious!”

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